Sprucing up NYC: Rockefeller Center lights Christmas tree

Getty Images - file photo from December 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — A massive Norway spruce has been lit up in a holiday tradition that ushers in Christmastime in New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch Wednesday night to light the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree following a televised extravaganza that featured performances by Diana Ross and Tony Bennett.

The 72-foot-tall tree is decorated with 5 miles (8 kilometers) of multicolored LED lights and a 900-pound Swarovski crystal star. Rockefeller Center has hosted the ceremony since 1931.

Police officers flooded the area and spectators were funneled through security.

The 75-year-old tree was donated by a couple in Wallkill, 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the city.

It will remain on display until Jan. 7. Then it will be given to Habitat for Humanity to help build homes.

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